Conference Program


Border deaths and migration policies: state and non-state approaches



Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 14-15 June 2018

organized by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

(convenors: Thomas Spijkerboer and Paolo Cuttitta)

in collaboration with

International Organization for Migration (IOM), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions 



Venue: Faculty of Law, Initium Building, de Boelelaan 1077 – 1081 HV Amsterdam

(see map and floorplan)


Download Conference Program in PDF format.


Thursday 14 June: Welcome

10.00-11.00 Registration & Coffee


Thursday 14 June (Morning): Opening Plenary – Chair: Maarten den Heijer (UvA)

Room: IN-0B60

11.00-11.25 Opening:

– Abdullah

11.25-11.40 Opening:

– Agnes Callamard (UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions)

11.40-12.40 – Thomas Spijkerboer (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

– Leanne Weber (Monash University Melbourne)

12.40-13.00 Responses:

– Mussie Zerai (Agenzia Habeshia)

– Frank Laczko (IOM-GMDAC)

13.00-14.00 Lunch break


Thursday 14 June (Afternoon): Opening Plenary – Chair: Maarten den Heijer (UvA)

Room: IN-0B60

14.00-15.00 – Keane Shum (UNHCR Regional Office for South-East Asia)

– Liza Medrano (Director General for the Protection of the Honduran Migrant – Government of the Republic of Honduras)

15.00-15.20 Responses:

– Vicki Squire (University of Warwick)

– Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui (MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam)

15.20-15.40 Coffee break
15.40-16.40 – Edda Pando (Milano Senza Frontiere)

– Kouceila Zerguine (Collectif des familles des harragas)

– Kate Morgan-Olsen (No More Deaths)

– Luis Osuna (Armadillos Búsqueda y Rescate)

16.40-17.00 Responses:

– Simon Robins (University of York)

– Matteo Tondini (Defence General Staff – Office of Legal Affairs – Italy)

17.00-18.00 discussion
18.00-19.30 Drinks


Friday 15 June (Morning): Parallel Workshops

Room numbers will be announced on site

8.30-9.00 Coffee & tea
9.00-10.30 Parallel workshops – Part 1
10.30-11.00 Coffee break
11.00-12.30 Parallel workshops – Part 2
12.30-13.30  Lunch break
Workshop Chair Rapporteur
W-1 Mourning Pamela Prickett (UvA) Victor Toom (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M.)
W-2 Enforced Disappearances Emilio Distretti (SOAS) Robin Reineke (Colibri Center)
W-3 Mortality Craig Spencer (MSF – Columbia University) Tamara Last (VU)
W-4 Dead Bodies Julia Black (IOM) Amade M’Charek (UvA)
W-5 Representations Renske Vos (VU) Giulia Sinatti (VU)
W-6 Various Actors Harald Glöde (Borderline Europe) Polly Pallister-Wilkins (UvA)
W-7 Causes and Effects Orçun Ulusoy (VU) Marie-Laure Basilien-Gainche (Université Lyon 3)
W-8 Moving Forward Huub Dijstelbloem (UvA) Carolyn Horn (Special Advisor to UN SR on ESAE)

Friday 15 June (Afternoon): Closing Plenary – Chair: Thomas Spijkerboer (VU)

Room: IN-0B60

13.30-15.00 workshop restitution
15.00-15.15 Coffee break
15.15-16.15 general workshop discussion
16.15-16.30 Coffee break
16.30-17.00 Paolo Cuttitta (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
17.00-17.30 Tineke Strik (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
17.30-18.00 wrap-up


This conference has been organised as part of the research project “Border Policies and Sovereignty. Human rights and the right to life of irregular migrants”, funded by NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), grant no. 453-12-004. It has been financially supported by the Faculty of Law of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Ministry of Justice and Security of the Netherlands.